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U.S – Israel Relation UPSC NOTE

 U.S - Israel relations

  • The U.S. had supported the idea of a Jewish homeland even before the state of Israel was declared within historical Palestine in 1948. 

  • On March 3, 1919, two years after the Balfour Declaration, in which the British government declared its support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

  • In 1922 and 1944, the U.S. Congress passed resolutions endorsing the Balfour Declaration

  • The U.S. was the first country that recognised Israel in 1948. 

  • However the 1967 war, in which Israel defeated Jordan, Syria and Egypt, all in six days, brought in a paradigm shift in the way Washington looked at the Jewish state. 

  • Israel defeated the Arab countries without any major help from the U.S., and the war was wrapped up quickly. 

  • Also, two of the Arab countries Israel defeated — Egypt and Syria — were Soviet allies. 

  • From then on, the U.S. started seeing Israel as a stable ally who can check the expansion of Soviet influence in West Asia.

Tensions between Israel and the U.S.?

  • While there were personality clashes between American Presidents and Israeli Prime Ministers, such clashes never led to a breakdown in what President John F. Kennedy called “the special relationship”. 

  • In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter heaped pressure on Israel to make peace with Egypt and give concessions to the Palestinians. 

  • Israel would finally agree to sign the Framework for Peace Agreement as part of the Camp David Accords. which would set the stage for the Oslo process. 

  • Tensions between Israel and the U.S.? 

  • In 2002, Mr. Bush asked Israel to pull back from the West Bank and end a military operation “without delay”, but the Israelis never obliged. 

  • President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had also clashed over the Iran nuclear deal. 

  • Mr. Netanyahu had visited the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and attacked Mr. Obama over his Iran policy. 

  • Mr. Obama vetoed all resolutions at the UN Security Council critical of Israel except one during his eight-year term. 

  • Mr. Obama, during his last months in office, also cleared a $38 billion aid package for Israel. 

  • The Biden administration had earlier criticised the Netanyahu government’s plan to overhaul the country’s judiciary. 

  • But after the October 7 attack by Hamas, the U.S. has thrown its full weight behind the Netanyahu government’s war on Gaza.

Why does the U.S. always back Israel?

  • One explanation is that Israel’s strategic value in a volatile yet critical region makes it appealing for Washington. 

  • During the Cold War, the U.S. saw Israel as a powerful bulwark against possible Soviet expansion in the Arab world. 

  • After the Cold War, when the U.S. started becoming more and more involved in West Asia, it continued to see Israel as a force of stability, along with Saudi Arabia and Egypt. 

  • Strategic value explains a close partnership or alliance, like America’s relationships with Japan, South Korea or Germany. 

  • A host of other factors, including America’s public opinion, electoral politics and the powerful Israel lobby in the U.S., play a role in shaping the country’s Israel policy.

  • Israel has enjoyed near unanimous support in the U.S. Congress, and a vast majority of Americans have favorable views about Israel. 

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: U.S – Israel Relation UPSC NOTE
U.S – Israel Relation UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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